Greetings. I’m delighted to share the first ever guest post on this blog…

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being on The Engaging Brand podcast with Anna Farmery. It was a great opportunity to exchange ideas about my new book with a very thoughtful stranger who is also one of the world’s leading business bloggers and podcasters and a passionate fan of English football. Here is her intriguing new post on connecting with our “inner” stranger…

Inner Stranger Bobograph

As humans we are built to evolve, yet as we evolve we can lose touch with aspects of our own personality that can help us later in life. In Alan’s fabulous new book, I was struck by a quote –- not from a successful entrepreneur but his daughter –- which said: “ But if I don’t talk to strangers, how will I ever make new friends?”

The fresh outlook of the child tends to hit you straight between the eyes and it made me think about how as we mature we can lose track of our own “inner” strangers.

Let me explain…

1.  We rush through our early years wanting to be more grown up and yet those childlike qualities of being inquisitive, of not being afraid, of constantly asking why…they can be our very own best friends for our personal development. When was the last time you spoke to your inner child and let it play?

2.  We spend our adolescence cramming for exams and consuming so much new information, we are constant learners…then we get a job and can find ourselves too busy to learn. When was the last time you got in touch with your learning gene and helped the ‘mature you’ understand more about the world, technology, your customers?

3.  We fall in love and start to understand how relationships work, the joy of having that special person in our lives. When was the last time you allowed yourself to fall in love with something – an interest, life, knowledge?

4.  When our careers start to take off we look up to our bosses and feel we could do a better job…because they don’t understand the real issues, what makes the team tick, what the real opportunity of not always doing what we have always done truly is. When was the last time you put down your career hat and listened, really listened to the new upstarts! What time do you create to be your own competitor, your own upstart who challenges you to look in the mirror?

5.  Often through our lives we can talk ourselves away from what we are truly passionate about because we are told that dreams don’t pay the mortgage. When was the last time you sat down and committed to fulfilling your dream?

6.  Time is the one resource that is limited and that is why when you take time to be 100% with someone, truly listening to their concerns and not just hearing the words, it can be the highest return on investment that you can make. We loved it as children, we love it as adults. When was the last time you gave yourself a few minutes to think, to dream, to understand yourself? Don’t you deserve that too…

I agree wholeheartedly with the premise of Alan’s book and the challenge we all face to make the most of this fantastic world that we live in. We have more opportunities to connect both to ideas and people. But let us also be aware that our 6 inner strangers need our attention, because without feeding them our present self may be losing out on their greatest friends of all by not recognizing their inner strangers.

You can connect with Anna and follow her blog and podcast at:


Just know that she will be hard to reach when the Liverpool Football Club is playing. 

And you can listen to the podcast and discussion on “The Necessity of Strangers” here: